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China earthquake-50,000 dead, thousands missing

1469 Views 23 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  CULWULLA
a 7.8 earthquake just ripped through western china ,many dead.not good.
a school with 900 are missing

Rescuers searched for students in the debris of a collapsed building after an earthquake on Monday at Juyuan Middle School in Juyuan Township in China's Sichuan province.

High Death Toll Feared as Strong Quake Hits China
Chen Xie/Xinhua, via Reuters

Published: May 13, 2008

BEIJING — A powerful earthquake struck a mountainous region of western China on Monday, killing at least 107 people and trapping more than 900 students beneath a collapsed high school as tremors shook buildings for hundreds of miles and were felt as far away as Vietnam and Thailand, according to interviews and reports in China’s state media.
An elderly patient after being evacuated from a hospital in Chengdu in China's Sichuan province after the earthquake on Monday.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck in Sichuan Province on Monday afternoon and raised immediate concerns that the death toll could rapidly rise. State media reports said “rows of houses” had collapsed near the quake’s epicenter. By early evening, state media had reported 107 deaths and 34 injuries in three provinces and Chongqing Municipality.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who arrived in the earthquake region on Monday night, described the situation as a "very severe earthquake disaster." President Hu Jintao ordered an “all out” effort to aid people in the earthquake region while soldiers were dispatched for disaster relief efforts. Minutes after the western temblor, a second, smaller quake struck hundreds of miles away, near Beijing. Thousands of office workers were evacuated.

“I suddenly felt very dizzy, as if I were heavily drunk,” said Zeng Hui, who works on the 22nd floor of an office tower in Beijing. “I thought I was seriously ill, then I looked around and saw my colleagues felt the same way. We were stunned.”

The initial quake struck at 2:28 p.m., or 2:28 a.m., Eastern time, near Wenchuan County, according to China’s State Seismological Bureau. People across much of China and as far away as Thailand and Vietnam reported feeling the tremors.

Wenchuan is home to the Wolong Nature Reserve, the country’s most famous panda reserve, and is located about 55 miles from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, which has a population of roughly 12 million people.

Early reports and telephone interviews suggested that Chengdu had been spared any significant problems, but officials were struggling to assess the full scope of the damage in Wenchuan and elsewhere because of the disruption in communications caused by the earthquake. More than 2,300 cell phone towers were knocked down by the quake, according to China Mobile, the country’s top carrier.

Xinhua, the official news agency, said the 107 fatalities were spread across Sichuan, neighboring Chongqing Municipality as well as in Gansu and Yunnan provinces. Damage is believed to be especially severe in Dujiangyan, a county of 600,000 people located near the epicenter. One local official described rows of collapsed houses, Xinhua reported.

Early Monday evening, Xinhua also flashed an emergency report from Dujiangyan describing that nearly 900 students were feared trapped after a high school collapsed. Most of the telephones in the city were not functioning, and the Xinhua report could not be independently verified.

Earlier in the day, the first reports of fatalities came in the east in Chongqing Municipality, where two primary schools were damaged. Four pupils died and more than 100 others were injured, state media reported. Another person was reportedly killed beneath a collapsed water tower in Sichuan Province.

China is prone to seismic activity and has suffered horrific earthquakes in the recent past. In 1976, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the city of Tangshan, located roughly 70 miles from Beijing. More than 240,000 people were killed and nearly every building was leveled. Communist Party officials initially covered up the extent of the death toll. Many of China’s biggest cities, including Beijing, are located in high-risk earthquake zones.

Monday’s smaller 3.9 magnitude earthquake in Beijing struck at 2:35 p.m. in Tongzhou, a district in the eastern half of the city. Many people in the city felt nothing at all, while others, especially those in high-rises, were alarmed by a swaying sensation. Thousands of workers were evacuated as a precaution.

“Suddenly, everything around me started moving and swinging,” said Xie Zhuofei, a salesman with a 17th floor office in Beijing. “I could hardly stand. Then I realized it was an earthquake. We went out immediately.”

Efforts to reach people near the epicenter of the bigger quake in western China were hindered by the damaged telephone system. But receptionists at different hotels in Chengdu said the earthquake appeared not to have caused any major problems in the city. Xinhua showed photographs of minor flooding caused by damage to an underground water pipe, but, as yet, the city seemed largely undamaged.
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The death toll is near 9000 now. Sichuan is China's highest populated state with more than 100 million people.

Is SSC loading very slowly for you guys today? Did the quake damage undersea cables again...?
^you lost me?
This year is shaping up to be pretty bad (Cyclone burma plus this)
now 12,000 confirmed. there is also a whole town missing with 20,000 inhabitants.
Very sad and devastating. Nature is always the most cruel. Hope the people affected cope and recover from the disaster. My sympathies to all those who lost loved ones in this disaster.
Frantic search for survivors
Mary-Anne Toy
Hong Kong
May 14, 2008

RESCUE teams finally arrived at the epicentre of China's devastating earthquake last night and began searching for survivors in the ruins of buildings under which thousands of people are feared to have been buried.

As the official death count approached 12,000, the toll from China's worst earthquake in a generation appeared certain to go higher.

Last night it was reported that more than 18,000 people had been buried under debris in the city of Mianyang alone, with more than 3600 confirmed dead.

Continues at

I have to say this disaster (along with Burma) has been on the back on my mind for the past few days, it's quite disturbing. I was in China this time last year.

One of the darkest week's in world history in a long time.
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and most bad things happens in 3.
At least the Chinese are quick to get in a rescue people from the rubble and help survivors. Unlike the Burmese regime who are letting people die exposed to the weather and disease and letting only a small amount of foreign aid across the border.
Now its believed to be 20,000 :(
Just watched the natural disaster documentary on the Kobe Earthquake in Japan a decade or so ago. Around 5000 died and caused 131 billion dollars damage, quite disturbing.
^^ We did an earthquake unit in Geography last week and learnt about the Kobe 1995 earthquake... pretty horrible
glad we live in australia (mostly) stable
20,000 thats all of my town plus some gone, how vile
i hread something about a major dam is about to collapse. which would flood some towns. gets worse.
It's quite impressive that most of the dam walls are still standing after a quake measured 7.9 on the moment magnitude scale.

I wonder how many dams or civil structure in Australia would withstanding an earthquake of the same magnitude.
It's quite impressive that most of the dam walls are still standing after a quake measured 7.9 on the moment magnitude scale.

I wonder how many dams or civil structure in Australia would withstanding an earthquake of the same magnitude.
We would be fucked.

Earthquake proofing of structure's is just not on the agenda.

If the Newcastle earthquake hit somewhere like San Francsico it would not be that huge. If the 1989 Newcastle quake and been further south in Sydney, we could have easily had hundreds of people killed.
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Terrible disaster wonder what's next.

I cant help but draw parallels between the fantastic response of the Chinese including their Premier Wen and that of the disastrous, botched response in the USA when Cyclone Katrina struck New Orleans. What did George Bushs mother say? Something like they didnt deserve the help they were getting cant remember now.
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